All Hands On Deck

The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates. Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section. Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters. Like the men of Tekoa, Joiada and Meshullam joined in the rebuilding project. They repaired the old gate A.K.A the Jeshanah Gate. Here again it is important to highlight the significance of repairing gates. These gates were entry points to the city. By securing the gates, these men were securing the future of the building project and guaranteeing the security of the city. Nehemiah 3:6-13

No One Is Overqualified For Kingdom Work

As Joiada and Meshullam were repairing the old gate, the men of Gibeon and Mizpah were repairing the area next to the old gate. Mizpah was a city of the tribe of Benjamin that is located about 7.5 miles north of Jerusalem. Gibeon is a notable city located about 5 miles northwest of Jerusalem. These men joined the repair in solidarity with their fellows Israelites, though they did not live in Jerusalem. However, they valued Jerusalem as the city of God—the place where the temple of God was located.

Uzziel and Hananiah pitched in to repair the next section. Together they restored Jerusalem as far as the broad wall. Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half district of Jerusalem repaired the next section. Unlike the nobles of Tekoa who thought too highly of themselves to participate in the repair work along with their brothers from Tekoa; Rephaiah got his hands involved and did not wait for others to do the work. Such an inspiring attitude seems to have proliferated among those who set their minds to help rebuild the walls of the city.

In verse 10, we see an important shift in the rebuilding process. Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs in front of his house. “Five times in the Nehemiah 3, it speaks of those who worked on the section right in front of their house.” The names of the men who are said to have made repairs in front of his house are interesting: • Nehemiah 3:10 mentions Jedaiah, and his name means He who calls unto God. • Nehemiah 3:23 mentions Benjamin, and his name means Son of my right hand. • Nehemiah 3:29 mentions Zadok, and his name means Justice. • Nehemiah 3:30 mentions Meshullam, and his name means Devoted.”

Hattush made repairs next to Jedaiah’s house. Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. The Tower of the Ovens was located off the western wall of Jerusalem. This area was considered the baking district of Jerusalem. The Sabbath showbread for the temple was baked by Levite bakers (1 Chronicles 9:31-32). In verse 12, we read Shallum made repairs to the next section with the help of his daughters. This is the first time that women are mentioned in the rebuilding effort. Evidently, everyone was contributing to the project. That all-hands-on-deck approach is probably the reason Nehemiah was able to finish repairing the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days.

Application

The most intriguing aspect of the rebuilding of the wall is the fact that men of different professions, not professional builders got involved and made their contributions. Priests, Levites, goldsmiths, perfumers, and district leaders all joined in to make the necessary repairs. “It would have seemed they had an easy excuse to not do anything, but they jumped in and did the work.”

We must resist the temptation to think too highly of ourselves. No one is overqualified to do whatever assignment giving to us by Almighty God. We are all servants (slaves) of the living God. So if we are asked to serve food to the hungry, or help build habitat houses, or build temporary shelters in Haiti, or teach students in Uganda, or lead a medical clinic in Niger, we should do so to the glory of God.

Some walls need repair all over the world. After the earthquake of 2010 in Haiti, I was part of a group of volunteers who went to build shelters. Included in that group were a medical doctor, a pharmacist, an advertisement executive, two nurses, a retiree, a construction worker, and a pastor. Only a couple of members of the group had any experience in building structures. The rest of us were way outside of our comfort zone. Nevertheless, we were able to build 25 shelters for 25 families in a week.

The people who benefited from our efforts did not know or care about our occupation or background. They simply wanted shelter from the burning Haitian sun. After each shelter we built, we prayed, blessed the family that received the shelter, and gave them a Bible and some toiletries. The walls for the people in the community where we worked were rebuilt by countless volunteers from the US who gave of their time, talents, and treasure to help make a difference in Jesus’ name. How is God calling you to help rebuild a broken wall in someone else’s life? Never assume that you are too “important,” or “busy” to step in and help. If you are willing to be used by God, he will use you in ways that will far surpass yours and everyone else’s expectations. Lest we forget, God turns Moses the Midianite shepherd into a liberator and nation builder.

Prayer

Blessed Lord, thank you for using us despite our inadequacies. Please help us to avail ourselves to be used by you to help rebuild broken walls in the world.

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